Rick Eid reveals if Chicago PD will replace Alvin Olinsky

CHICAGO P.D. -- "100th Episode Celebration" -- Pictured: (l-r) Terry Miller, Executive Producer; Dick Wolf, Series Creator and Executive Producer; Rick Eid, Executive Producer and Showrunner; Eriq La Salle, Executive Producer & 100th Director -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC)
CHICAGO P.D. -- "100th Episode Celebration" -- Pictured: (l-r) Terry Miller, Executive Producer; Dick Wolf, Series Creator and Executive Producer; Rick Eid, Executive Producer and Showrunner; Eriq La Salle, Executive Producer & 100th Director -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC) /

Chicago PD showrunner Rick Eid told One Chicago Center if the show is replacing Alvin Olinsky and what stories it plans to tell in Chicago PD season 6.

Rick Eid joined Chicago PD as showrunner last season, and oversaw one of the show’s most talked-about seasons. What’s he going to do for an encore when the series returns next week?

One Chicago Center asked the executive producer to give us some insight on what’s ahead for the Intelligence Unit during Chicago PD season 6, after all the changes that happened last season.

The biggest, and most controversial, change was the decision to kill off Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) in the season 6 finale. So will Chicago PD introduce a new detective this season to take Olinsky’s place?

“It’s possible,” Rick told us. “We don’t have a plan for that right now. But any TV show, going into its sixth year, you’re always thinking about interesting ways to reinvent the show. We’re always thinking about a new character, new actor.

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“But there’s definitely no replacement for the Olinsky character, and [killing him] wasn’t done to go oh, let’s bring in the new guy.”

In fact, Chicago PD season 6 will pick up in the wake of Olinsky’s murder, with the Intelligence team still mourning the loss of their co-worker and friend.

“Given where the show ended last year and how emotional everyone was in the finale, we just felt like we had to explore then what happened—what happened that night, the next day, the next morning. So it just felt natural to just start right where we left off.”

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Next week’s season premiere includes the arrival of a new character, Deputy Superintendent Katherine Brennan (Anne Heche), who is a second high-ranking rival for Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). Why introduce another adversary who sounds very similar to Denny Woods, right after Voight got rid of him?

“It’s an interesting dynamic to see Voight having to deal with a boss,” Rick explained. “To have another layer of complexity to his ability to do his job, and another obstacle. It’s just a dramatic device as a writer.

“We’re also exploring the mayoral election. Her boss is running for mayor [and] we imagine she’s going to be the next superintendent if that person wins, so there’s this big political component to this season.”

To that end, Rick affirmed that Chicago PD is still committed to being a timely series and exploring current issues surrounding policing, even though last season turned into being more about Woods and his personal campaign against Voight.

“We try to tell honest stories about cops in Chicago,” he said. “We do try to reflect what’s happening in the real world, but we try to tell it from all angles and all stories, and we don’t try to take big opinions and politicize it. We just try to show what it’s like to be a cop and all of our cops have their own moral constitution.

“We’re aware of what’s going on and like delving into social racial political issues. We like to tell a story from all angles,  where maybe nobody’s right,” he continued. “We don’t like having one person being 100 percent right and one person be 100 percent wrong. We like everybody to be kind of right or wrong. It’s more interesting.”

Furthermore, he explained that the storytelling in Chicago PD season 6 starts with the characters and not necessarily with wanting to pull from the headlines.

“We just try to look at each character and what would be an interesting storyline for that character,” he added. “When it comes to certain racial issues, we think of LaRoyce [Hawkins]‘s character as a strong black man in Chicago. What would he do here? What’s the angle?

“Whether it’s any other political issue or social issue ,we just think of the best character to tell that particular story through and so that’s sort of how we talk about it. We come at it from [the angle of] what if Atwater saw this? What if Upton had to confront the person who…We just start it from the character point of view.”

“As a setting for a cop show, [Chicago]’s kind of the greatest setting ever,” Rick reflected. “There’s a lot of controversy, a lot of issues, there’s a lot of problems. A lot of these problems are very sad and problematic and controversial….It’s great to be able to explore some of these raw issues that are happening. A lot of these issues relate to the police, so it’s interesting to be able to be in the middle of some of these controversies.

“But again, our characters are our characters. We’re not trying to do a documentary. It’s a TV show, we don’t pretend we’re speaking to the real-life Chicago, that we can solve problems. We do take very seriously the idea that we can tell honest stories and explore from all angles. Nothing is black and white.”

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For the latest Chicago PD season 6 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago PD category at One Chicago Center.